Framing square not square

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Forum topic by Brett posted 08-10-2012 11:17 PM 2692 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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08-10-2012 11:17 PM

A couple years ago I bought a combination square at a home center. When I tested it, I found it was out of square by almost 1/8” over about 8”. I bought another brand and it tested fine.

I’m at the point in my Roubo-bench build that I need to cut the ends square to the sides. Because of my previous experience with combination squares, I decided to test my framing square first—and it was off by about 1/16” over 24”. I checked the brand and—yep—it was the same as the bad combination square.

So, with that little anecdote out of the way, here’s my actual question: several months ago I read about a technique to correct a bad (metal) framing square, but I’ve forgotten the details. Does anybody know how to fix an out-of-square metal framing square? Thanks.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

8 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2921 days

#1 posted 08-10-2012 11:31 PM

You use center punch in the corner where the tongue meets the blade. I THINK it’s punch it on the inside corner to pull it together and the outside corner to spread it out.
Someone correct me if I’m backwards.

-- Life is good.

View jmos's profile


827 posts in 2367 days

#2 posted 08-10-2012 11:36 PM

Here’s a link to an article about this

-- John

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2294 days

#3 posted 08-10-2012 11:44 PM

3-4-5 triangle – no square required.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3759 days

#4 posted 08-11-2012 12:22 AM

The only useful combination squares that I have obtained from the “big box” are the Empire brand. However, even that said, select their Pro model. The 6 inch Empire combination square often finds a place in my apron and I use it to mark cut lines on my stock. It’s not a Starret by any means, but then it’s not such a disaster if it falls on the floor.

For machine set-ups and alignment you will appreciate Starret’s accuracy. I have a couple of framing squares but don’t use them much because they are not as square as I would like.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 08-11-2012 01:04 AM

View whitewulf's profile


454 posts in 2935 days

#6 posted 11-15-2012 02:46 AM


The 3 4 5 triangle is the better method. The center punch method is mostly incorrect, as is is unable to stretch the metal enough. the proper way is with hammer & anvil.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2186 days

#7 posted 11-15-2012 08:53 PM

A square framing square can be got so cheap these days I doubt it’s worth the effort.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2382 days

#8 posted 11-16-2012 06:49 PM

I have successfully done this with my aluminum framing square. I used my countersink (for nails), put it on a concrete floor and used a metal claw hammer. Taps on the outside corner will bring it together, inside corner will spread it out. (Which, unless I am mistaken means the previous post is backwards and therefore incorrect…sorry to bear bad news…If you just think about what’s happening to the metal, it will make sense) It left small little circles on one side of the square, but they don’t bother me. I suppose I could have cracked the concrete, so watch out for that. I didn’t take very long. You may find out that you can’t get the inside and outside edge square at the same time, so you’ll have to pick one. I chose inside edge…It works very well now, and I know I can do it again if needed.

I should also mention that I did not keep pounding the same spot, I made a sort of diagonal line of punches leading to the corner.

Method described here:

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

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